Know a Pro Bono Superstar? Nominations are Now Open for the 2013 PSJD Pro Bono Publico Award!

When New York Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman announced the mandatory pro bono requirements for the state’s bar applicants, the legal community reacted with almost equal parts criticism and approval. What many viewed as an innovative way to help close the justice gap, others viewed as just another way to get free labor out of a class of recent graduates already struggling to look for work.

But the next generation of lawyers is all for it. From the National Law Journal:

“…more than half the 750 pre-law students surveyed in June by Kaplan Test Prep—68 percent to be exact—said they support a rule requiring law students to complete a certain amount of pro bono work before being admitted to the bar.

New York is the only state with such a requirement; starting in 2015, applicants to the bar there must have competed 50 hours of eligible pro bono work. Meanwhile, officials with the State Bar of California are preparing to impose a 50-hour pro bono requirement and a New Jersey Supreme Court panel has recommended a similar rule.”

All of us here at PSJD are happy pre-law students are catching the pro bono bug! Every year we celebrate law students with a deep commitment to pro bono with our Pro Bono Publico Award, which gives $1,000 to a deserving law student who is known throughout their community for their public service.

If you know a second- or third-year law student from a PSJD subscriber school who would be perfect for this award, go ahead and nominate them! Just click on the forms below, print them and fill them out by August 30, 2013. If you have any questions, contact Christina Jackson at

Good luck!

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